Top Tips for First Time Car Owners

Buying your first car is a huge milestone; it is a big financial investment and the memory of your very first car will stay with you forever. The first time you own a car, you are starting a new chapter in life; opening a door full of responsibilities that come with running a car. If you want to minimise your responsibilities and costs so you can worry about other priorities, then there are a few things that you should bear in mind.

Read the owner’s manual

Just like reading the terms and conditions for every phone update you get; the owner’s manual often gets completely disregarded. This guide, however, isn’t here to tell you to read every word and study it like classic literature.

Skimming through the manual, and reading the parts focused on maintenance will make life much easier in the future. It will include helpful information such as optimal tyre pressures, the loading capacity of the car and what type of oil is required. Of course, these information can all be found online, but if you want to save yourself a lot of trouble and stress in future, a quick glance at the manual will be a huge help.

Don’t drive on and empty fuel tank

Far too often, most drivers, especially young drivers, fill their fuel tanks by small amounts and push the limits of their cars’ fuel tanks. Although it may seem like a large sum of money to completely fill the tank each time, it is actually a lot better for the health of your engine.

The fuel in your car cools the fuel pump’s electric motor as it passes from the tank to the engine. If you have an empty tank and are literally running on fumes, your fuel pump can easily overheat. Replacing it could be painfully expensive, a lot more than a single tank’s worth of fuel.

Check your tyre pressures regularly

Tyre pressures are important if you want to keep your running costs low. Not only do properly inflated tyres increase the fuel economy of your car, it prevents your wheels from being damaged from under-inflated tyres. It also reduces the potential of wear and tear on the tyres which is caused by over-inflating them. Regardless of whether you have an on-board tyre monitoring system, you should regularly check your tyre pressures with a pressure gauge.

The optimum tyre pressures can be found in two places; in the owner’s manual, and on the doorjamb on the driver’s side. Bear in mind that the number displayed on the tyre wall is the maximum that the tyre can take, and is not the optimal pressure.

Use the recommended type of fuel

A common misconception is that premium petrol will make your car run faster, more efficiently, and increase the lifespan of your engine. This can be the case for some high-end cars. However, most cars do not benefit from premium petrol any more than regular petrol. If your car’s recommended type of fuel is regular unleaded, then save your money and don’t fork out for something that costs a lot more and won’t increase your fuel economy.

For peace of mind, ensure you regularly service your car at the recommended mileage. Contact Brighton Panel Works, a trusted auto shop for over 50 years servicing Melbourne’s inner city and the bayside precincts.